A six-month series of events to commemorate the World’s Fair anniversaries organized by the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee and NYC Parks will end with a concluding celebration on Sunday, October 19, that will feature a special free event: A World’s Fair Scavenger Hunt throughout Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The daylong October 19 celebration will kick-off at noon with a press conference at the New York State Pavilion hosted by the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee’s co-chairs, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, along with Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski and other elected officials.
Sponsored by Delta Air Lines and the Daily News, the World’s Fair Scavenger Hunt will involve teams of two to six people who will be given maps of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and a list of clues that will test each team’s knowledge of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs and of the Park as it is now. The clues will direct teams to various cultural institutions and other locations in and around Flushing Meadows Corona Park. At each location, each team will be given a token to prove it was there. The team that will have collected the most tokens by 5:30 p.m. will be the winner of the World’s Fair Scavenger Hunt and will receive valuable prizes, as will the top runners-up. Participants will be able to register for the Scavenger Hunt between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the day of the event at the Queens Theatre, located adjacent to the New York State Pavilion.
“I can’t think of a more appropriate way to close our 75th and 50th Anniversary celebrations of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs than this fun and exciting scavenger hunt, which will allow participants to learn more about the history of the World’s Fairs and the roles they played both in shaping Flushing Meadows Corona Park and in encouraging the development of Queens as a ‘The World’s Borough,’ which is the vibrant multicultural community that it has become,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
“I hope everyone will join us for this closing program of the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee,” said Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports. “As we have worked with our partners over the past few months to commemorate the moments in 1939 and 1964 when the eyes of the world were on Queens, we also put a spotlight on their legacy that is such an integral part of our lives today in the form of a magnificent park and vital cultural institutions.”
“The 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs were used as a vehicle to transform Flushing Meadows Corona Park from a valley of ashes into the City’s fourth largest public park,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “Today this site is a cultural hub, a center for both world-class and pickup sports, and a tranquil setting to reflect on the City’s past, present and future. We’re thrilled to have seen such a great turnout at the previous World’s Fair Anniversary events and hope everyone comes out to join us at the closing ceremonies.”
The October 19 closing celebration will also include special offers at the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum, the Queens Zoo, the Queens Botanical Garden, and 50 cent rides at the Carousel. NYC Parks will also offer free public viewings of the New York State Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow and a 6 p.m. outdoor concert featuring “Yesterday and Today: a musical tribute to the Beatles” sponsored by Con Edison. The winners and runners-up from the Scavenger Hunt will be announced during the concert.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park was the site of the legendary 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. To celebrate the 75th and 50th anniversaries of those extraordinary events, the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee (the members of which are shown in the attached photo) has for the past six months held a series of special World’s Fair Anniversary events and programs in conjunction with NYC Parks and with the cultural institutions in the Park and surrounding areas.
Among these events was an opening ceremony on April 22 that included a rare opportunity for members of the public to tour the New York State Pavilion, which Borough President Katz has been committed to preserving and restoring. More than 5,000 people took the tour of this unique and iconic Space Age structure that day.
Another major Anniversary event was the May 18 World’s Fair Anniversary Festival, which featured a full day of free activities in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, including outdoor concerts and a fireworks show. More than 60,000 people enjoyed that festival.
“I hope you are all able to participate in the Scavenger Hunt and/or enjoy the many other free and fun events that will be taking place during our World’s Fair Anniversary closing celebration on October 19,” Borough President Katz said. “Let’s all celebrate the legacy of 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs together, which were two of the most important events in our borough’s distinguished history.”